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Oilers at Lightning preview

Edmonton 10-3-2 in past 15; Kucherov, Stamkos out for Tampa Bay, which eyes ninth win in row

by Corey Long / Independent Correspondent

OILERS (30-20-6) at LIGHTNING (37-15-5)

7 p.m. ET; SUN, SNW, NHL.TV


The Game

Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos and Anthony Cirelli each will be out because of a lower-body injury when the Tampa Bay Lightning host the Edmonton Oilers at Amalie Arena on Thursday.

Each Lightning forward is day to day; Kucherov and Cirelli were injured in a 2-1 overtime win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday; Stamkos will miss his third straight game.

Tampa Bay will look to win its ninth straight game and extend the longest active winning streak in the NHL. The Lightning, 20-2-1 in their past 23 games, are in second place in the Atlantic Division, three points behind the Boston Bruins.

Tampa Bay also eyes its 10th consecutive home win, which would match the longest home winning streak in its history (Dec. 11, 2014-Jan. 31, 2015).

The Oilers, 10-3-2 in their past 15 games, are in second place in the Pacific Division, three points behind the Vancouver Canucks. Edmonton will play its second game without center Connor McDavid, out 2-3 weeks because of a left quad injury.


Players to watch

Oilers center Leon Draisaitl has 28 points (10 goals, 18 assists) in his past 15 games. 

Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy will try to extend his Tampa Bay record point streak to 20 games; he's 17-0-2 with a 1.97 goals-against average, .933 save percentage and two shutouts in his past 19 starts.


They said it

"You always want to help out on the scoresheet, but at the same time you want to do what you can to keep the other team off the scoresheet. That's a big thing for us right now." -- Oilers forward Josh Archibald

"Obviously our team is a little banged-up right now, their team is a little banged-up so it's about the same on both sides. We're just doing to have to stay within our structure and help each other out a much as possible." -- Lightning forward Tyler Johnson


Oilers projected lineup

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Leon Draisaitl -- Kailer Yamamoto

Sam Gagner -- Gaetan Haas -- Alex Chiasson

Josh Archibald -- Riley Sheahan -- Zack Kassian

Jujhar Khaira -- Colby Cave -- Patrick Russell

Darnell Nurse -- Ethan Bear

Oscar Klefbom -- Adam Larsson

Caleb Jones -- Matt Benning

Mike Smith

Mikko Koskinen

Scratched: William Lagesson, Tyler Benson

Injured: Connor McDavid (quad), Kris Russell (Concussion), Joakim Nygard (hand), James Neal (ankle)


Lightning projected lineup

Ondrej Palat -- Brayden Point -- Tyler Johnson

Pat Maroon -- Cedric Paquette -- Alex Killorn

Carter Verhaeghe -- Yanni Gourde -- Mathieu Joseph

Alexaander Volkov -- Mitchell Stephens

Victor Hedman -- Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Braydon Coburn -- Luke Schenn

Cameron Gaunce

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: None

Injured: Steven Stamkos (lower body), Nikita Kucherov (lower body), Anthony Cirelli (lower body), Ryan McDonagh (lower body), Jan Rutta (lower body)


Status report

Stamkos participated in the first few minutes of the Lightning's morning skate before leaving the ice. He did not take part in line rushes. … Tampa Bay will dress 11 forwards and seven defensemen. … The Oilers recalled Benson, a forward, from Bakersfield of the American Hockey League on Wednesday. 


Stat pack

Yamamoto has 11 points (five goals, six assists) in his past 10 games. … The Lightning are 9-0-0 against Pacific Division teams this season.

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